Friday, October 05, 2007

October 5, 2007
Woke up excited about the possibilities of the hand-made, custom book as a lead off promotion for The Top Secret Project. I really had no idea of the vastness of this collectable world where limited edition books are sold for $300, $750 and even for as much as $3,000 each (the latter price usually contains an original piece of art). And they have weird print runs like 25, 75 and 300 (I think they rarely go over 350). Very small runs. Mark McDowell, who owns Tiny Satellite Press, showed me a whole bunch of examples of the genre, including a Stagecoach Press Southwestern Series Limited Edition called "Exciting Days of Early Arizona" by Edward Wilson, 750 copies. Published in 1966 by Jack Rittenhouse, who was evidently a mainstay of the Western publishing world in this arena.

Just came out of a meeting with Robert Ray and Jason Strykowski and this is the direction we're going for Mickey Free. The Booth Museum has contacted me about a joint art show with Buck Taylor and Thom Ross, and that could be a launching event to showcase the art of the Top Secreet Project and premiere the limited edition book.

I'm sending Robert Ray down there this afternoon to peruse the operation and see the perameters of the paper, ink and presses. It's all hand done.

Killer Name
“What’s your name?’
“From Texas, huh?”
“Nope. Louisiana.”
“Then how come you’re called Tex?”
“Got tired of shootin’ guys for callin’ me Louise.”

Brian Lebel just came by and dropped off The Dodge City Police Docket book, covering 1878 to 1882. One of the first arrests is by Wyatt Earp (his name is all over the book), along with James Masterson and one cowboy, James Kennedy, who is arrested several times for disturbing the peace. In October of 1878 he shot into the mayor's house ("Dog" Kelly), killing a house guest, Dora Hand. The subsequent posse that tracked him down contained Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman and Charlie Bassett. Kennedy was captured near Meade, Kansas and returned to Dodge City. However Kennedy's father was a powerful rancher in Texas (a co-founder of the King Ranch) and the rumor is he bought off the city officials. I recognized Kennedy's name in the docket, but this is just the part I know about. We have contacted a Dodge City history expert and are awaiting his perusal of this Old West treasure that was kept in an Ohio attic for 125 years before Brian got it a couple weeks ago. It's in great shape and a national treasure. Here's a photo of it:

"No stair is steep to happy feet."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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